Early et al v. Aurora Corporate Plaza, LLC
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER approving the parties settlement. Signed by District Judge Daniel D. Crabtree on 8/10/2017. (ms)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS
JAYSON and ANGELICA EARLY, and
A.E., a minor child,
by and through JAYSON and
ANGELICA EARLY, natural guardians of
A.E., a minor child,
Case No. 16-cv-4174-DDC-KGG
AURORA CORPORATE PLAZA, LLC.,
A Foreign Corporation,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
On July 27, 2017, the court held a hearing to approve the settlement agreement between
plaintiffs Jayson, Angelica, and A. Early ( A. Early is a minor child born to Jayson and Angelica
Early) and Aurora Corporate Plaza, LLC. The hearing was necessary because plaintiffs’ claims
include those of a minor, and the court “has a duty to protect the minor’s interests.” Midland
Nat. Life Ins. Co. v. Johnson-Marin, No. 08-1367-MLB, 2012 WL 3245471, at *4 (D. Kan. Aug.
9, 2012) (citing Thompson v. Maxwell Land Grant and Ry. Co., 168 U.S. 451, 463 (1897);
United States v. Reilly, 385 F.2d 225, 228 (10th Cir. 1967)). When a settlement agreement
settles a minor child’s claims, the court should “judicially examine the facts—to determine
whether the agreement [is] reasonable and proper.” Mo. Pac. Ry. Co. v. Lasca, 99 P. 616, 619
At the July 27, 2017 hearing, plaintiffs Angelica and Jayson Early appeared in person and
through counsel. Defendant appeared through counsel. Both Mr. and Mrs. Early testified about
the settlement agreement. The court intentionally has omitted reference to the settlement
amounts in this order, because it recognizes the role that confidential settlement negotiations
often play in the efficient and fair resolution of disputes. See Nixon v. Warner Commc’ns, 435
U.S. 589, 597 (1978) (explaining that while the public has a “general right to inspect and copy
public records and documents,” the right is not absolute). Here, the court finds that the interest
in preserving the result of confidential settlement negotiations outweighs the public interest in
accessing the settlement agreement. So, the court enters a separate order memorializing the
settlement agreement, which will remain sealed.
After considering the testimony and evidence presented by the parties at the July 27,
2017 hearing, the court concludes that the settlement agreement is reasonable and adequately
protects A.E.’s interests. The settlement portion allocated to A.E. exceeds the portion paid to
either Angelica or Jayson. A.E. suffered no permanent injuries from the circumstances described
in the Complaint, and defendant agreed to waive and release all defenses and claims it had
asserted against plaintiff’s claims. Additionally, the parties have stated that A.E.’s settlement
portion will not be affected by outstanding attorney fees or costs.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED BY THE COURT THAT the parties’ settlement
agreement is approved.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated this 10th day of August, 2017, at Topeka, Kansas.
s/ Daniel D. Crabtree______
Daniel D. Crabtree
United States District Judge
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